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Elon Musk Tables Bid to Buy Out Twitter, Says It Must Be ‘Privatized’ to Protect Free Speech

Published: April 14, 2022
Elon Musk gestures as he speaks during a press conference at SpaceX's Starbase facility near Boca Chica Village in South Texas on February 10, 2022. - Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk has tabled a bid valued at over $40 billion to buy social media platform Twitter. (Image: JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

After amassing the largest stake in Twitter by any individual by covertly purchasing a 9.2 percent stake in the company and after declining a role on Twitter’s board of directors, tech billionaire Elon Musk has launched a hostile takeover of the platform with an unsolicited offer to purchase 100 percent of the company for more than $40 billion. 

The offer, that Musk says is his “best and final offer” states that Musk is willing to purchase all remaining shares in the company for $54.20 per share claiming that the offer is a “54% premium over the day before [he] began investing in Twitter and a 38% premium over the day before [his] investment was publicly announced.”

Musk believes, “Twitter has extraordinary potential” and that he “will unlock it.”

In his offer he said that since investing in the company he now realizes that “the company will neither thrive nor serve this societal imperative in its current form. Twitter needs to be transformed as a private company.”

The “societal imperative” Musk believes Twitter should serve is as a “platform for free speech around the globe.”

Musk also said in a related conversation that should his bid be declined he would have to “reconsider” his position as a shareholder. 

The initial announcement of Musk’s investment in the company sent the stock soaring by over 27 percent, should Musk sell his stake in the company it could result in the company’s stock plummeting. 

The news set the internet alight with voices emerging both lauding Musk for his offer while others lambasted the tech giant and, not surprisingly, Musk was trending in the number one spot on Twitter following the announcement.

Carla Sands, U.S. Senate candidate and former ambassador to Denmark tweeted to her some 31 thousand followers, “Elon Musk is our last hope for free speech on the internet,” garnering over 1,300 likes in under an hour. 

New York Times best selling author, Brigitte Gabriel told her 395.8 thousand followers, “Elon Musk has accomplished more in the last 48 hours for America than Joe Biden has in his entire life.”

Andrew Pollack, American school safety activist and entrepreneur tweeted, “Elon Musk owning Twitter is a bigger win for conservatives than winning the House + Senate. Let’s hope it happens!”

Political columnist and author, Max Boot, tweeted to his over 343 thousand followers, “I am frightened by the impact on society and politics if Elon Musk acquires Twitter. He seems to believe that on social media anything goes. For democracy to survive, we need more content moderation, not less.” The tweet garnered over 20.8 thousand likes.

Vocal political commentator, Robert Reich, prior to Musk’s offer but after Musk’s initial purchase of stock in the company asserted in an opinion piece published by The Guardian that, “Musk now faces no limit on how much of Twitter stock he can buy, He’ll buy as much as he needs to gain total control.” It appears Reich was correct.

Reich questioned Musk’s motive to make Twitter a free speech platform by bringing attention to the fact that after Reich publicly criticized Musk’s treatment of Tesla workers, some two years ago, Musk blocked him on the platform.

“Seems like an odd move for someone who describes himself as a ‘free speech absolutist,’” Reich wrote.

Jack Sweeny, a teenager that runs a Twitter account that tracks Musk’s private jet, tweeted on Thursday “Oh no,” in response to Musk’s offer.

Early in 2021 Musk approached the teen offering him $5,000 to close his account saying his tweeting was a “security risk” and that he didn’t want to be “shot by a nutcase” according to Protocol which first reported the story. 

Popular tech news site TechCrunch, was quick to publish an article arguing that Musk’s unsolicited bid may actually be too low. 

Saudi prince Alwaleed bin Talal , a long-term shareholder, told his some 14.1 million followers, “I don’t believe that the proposed offer by @elonmusk ($54.20) comes close to the intrinsic value of @Twitter given its growth prospects. Being one of the largest & long-term shareholders of Twitter, @Kingdom_KHC & I reject this offer.”

Twitter’s board of directors is reportedly sitting down at 10:00 am ET on Thursday to discuss Musk’s bid.